22 Nov I Do Not Come To You By Chance – A Summary of The Story and The Characters
An overview of the story – I DO Not Come To You By Chance. This article presents a summary of the story and the characters therein.
I Do Not Come To You By Chance – Summary
I Do Not Come To You By Chance is Adaobi Tricia Nwanuobi’s debut novel, written in 2009. Nwanuobi, unlike several other African diaspora writers, writes from her region, South East, Nigeria, and still beats other writers in Africa to bag an international writing deal. I Do Not Come To You By Chance won the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Novel in Africa and Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa in the same year.
The novel centers on the life of a college graduate, Kingsley Ibe, whose father, Paulinus, is a civil servant and wishes his son to end up not like him. Paulinus is schooled in the UK and works in the Nigerian Civil Service to cater to his family’s needs. Kingsley, a Chemical Engineer graduate, wishes to find a job better than his father’s, at least to take care of his ailing father, whose health challenges have forced him to retire prematurely. However, Kingsley, fatigued from a serious job hunt, is unable to live up to his family’s expectations.
As an Okpara (the first son), he feels lumbered by his family’s needs. His family expects him to bring something to the family, perhaps monthly.
Ola, his girlfriend, is also worried about her boyfriend’s inability to secure a job since graduation. She thinks he can’t afford to pay her bride price. While she quickly gives up on him, Kingsley’s parents are only disappointed in him for not living to fulfill his family duty. Unlike Ola, Kingsley’s family still retains their view of education as the main key to success.
As a family headed by an educated man, they seem to see education as the way, despite the country’s plight narrowing it.
Meanwhile, Kingsley’s father’s health worsens. Kingsley is being called upon for money as his father is carried from hospital to hospital amid rejections due to their inability to make an advance payment.
Kingsley’s father’s condition pressures him more, making him desperately looking for help everywhere. When it dawns on him, he decides to contact his far-living uncle, Cash Daddy, who’s a notorious scammer; in Nigeria and the novel, is called 419 (derived from a section of Nigeria’s penal code that allows the police to punish the offenders of it).
Uncle Boniface (Cash Daddy), unlike Kingsley, is not education-obsessed and cares less about the consequences of his illegal business, not when it’s paying him off and affords him a lavish lifestyle many envy.
Kingsley, in his desperate urge to rescue his family from poverty, gives in to Cash Daddy’s advice for him to join him in the email-scamming business. Initially, his e-mails were not catchy, depriving him of a successful catch of ‘mugus’. Mugu is a Nigerian word for an unwise person, so those vulnerable to the scam are brutally referred to as ‘mugus’.
Kingsley initially doubts the possibility of white people falling for such cheap scams and sees no promising future in the dirty business. However, after his continuous push and improvement, he’s surprised to see mugus lining up to buy into his self-perceived cheap scams. His life and that of his family begin to transform gradually. His level and mastery, however, are incomparable to that of his initiator, Cash Daddy, who holds meetings while in the lavatory and eats food with his bare hands.
Soon, his parents got to know and were not pleased with it, making Kingsley enraged and sore in defense of his lucrative business. He laments how he has sacrificed his moral principles to elevate the family from poverty and gets hatred in return. They refuse to talk to him any further. Kingsley goes deeper into the scamming business; he improves his scamming techniques to Cash Daddy’s surprise.
Cash Daddy is drunk with his fortunes, so he goes into politics. Unfortunately, he lived a short life as his political ambition was short-lived when he was eliminated from the poll. This left is business under no one’s care. Kingsley is unready to inherit his uncle’s business since he is even burdening him.
Still, in defense of his business, to please his angry parents, Kingsley opens an Internet Cafè. He learns that he can deploy his earnings from the 419 deals to charity works like building schools, roads, churches, and orphanage houses – a way of compensating the motherland for her looted wealth by the white people.
Kingsley, in the end, runs his legitimate business to veil his lucrative email-scamming business. This helps improve his relationship with his angry mother. Despite enjoying the proceeds of scams, Kingsley sees those he scams through a different lens than other scammers like Cash Daddy. He respects them more than others in the same business with him.
I Do Not Come To You By Chance is set in Nigeria during the oil decline era. E-mail scamming made its way into the Nigerian scene immediately after oil lost its value in the 1980s. It got worse with the rise of the Internet in the 2000s.
How Did I Do Not Come To You By Chance End?
The high rate of unemployment prevented Kingsley, the protagonist, from walking toward his dream. Kingsley Ibe sacrificed his morals to plunge his empty self into the world of internet scams. In the hope to save his family from poverty. He met his uncle, Cash Daddy, who lured him into the well-paying business.
Kingsley’s father, who is a graduate of a university in the UK, wishes his son doesn’t end up like him. He has worked as a civil servant, which deprived him of the affluent lifestyle his uneducated brother lives. As result, he swore none of his children, especially his first son, would ever end up like him. His health begins to fail him and retires him from his work consequently. His family’s heavy responsibilities landed on the shoulder of his eldest son, Kingsley.
To live up to his parent’s expectations, Kingsley reached out to his uncle, Cash Daddy, who lured him into the obscene world of crime. He doubts his ability to excel in the dirty business. However, he was surprised when the ‘mugus’ began to line up to buy into his scam.
I Do Not Come To You By Chance – Characters
The following characters are the heart of the story – I Do Not Come To You By Chance.
He’s the protagonist of the novel. Kingsley Ibe is a Chemical Engineering graduate and the first son of his family. As the first son, he’s entitled to a big piece of meat in the reverend egusi’s soup and other privileges. However, the same position lumbers him with responsibilities he finds difficulty bearing.
His family sees education as the shortest way to success, a reason his father broke the bank to send him to a university. After graduating, he encounters a strange and unwelcoming scenario, something he never expected, making him appear helpless and hopeless. There was no job anywhere in Nigeria due to the failing economy, leaving him unable to cater to his family’s needs. His girlfriend, Ola, broke off their relationship because he was financially handicapped. He couldn’t afford to pay her bride price.
Kingsley’s greatest challenge comes when his father’s health deteriorated, and no hospital took him in without a deposit. This led him into the ‘419’ business, lured by his uncle Boniface. Kingsley sacrificed his morals and ego to climb the social ladder, even though his parents registered their disapproval of his choice.
In the author’s words, “Cash Daddy suffers from Elephantiasis of the pocket.” Boniface, also known as Cash Daddy, is Kingsley’s uncle. He was introduced in the novel when Kingsley’s father’s health deteriorated. He was rejected by hospitals for not being able to deposit cash for his treatment. The weird and extravagant Cash Daddy, whose fortunes come by replying scam emails on his laptop, renders help with strings attached to his cousin.
She was Kingsley’s girlfriend way back from the university. Although she deeply loves Kingsley, she can’t find herself marrying him due to his unappealing financial status at that time. Kingsley was jobless and unable to find jobs since graduation. She thinks he can’t afford to pay her bride price, and even if he struggles to pay it eventually, he can’t take appropriate care of her if they marry. Consequently, she severed their relationship.
Kingsley’s father is a graduate of a UK-based university, so he works in the civil service. He doesn’t earn a huge salary that will enable him to live a luxurious life or afford everything his family desperately needs. However, he did train his son, Kingsley, at a university. Because he has exhausted himself working in the civil service and still eke out for a living, he wishes and advises his son not to end up like him. His deteriorating health forced him to retire from the civil service.